How to properly display an American Flag

As we near the occasion of The Healing Field, sponsored by Old Second on Nov. 3-13, 2013, here is information on the proper display of a flag.

The United States flag should always be treated with great care and respect. In order to properly preserve, display, and discard a United States Flag, it is imperative to know proper Flag Code.

Position and Manner for Displayarticle2b

There are certain rules to follow when it comes to how the flag is displayed. The United States flag must be on a staff if it is being displayed on a float in a parade. Never should the flag be laid over the hood nor the top, sides, or back a vehicle, train, or boat. If a flag is displayed on car, it should be secured from the right fender.

When the U.S flag is displayed with other flags or pennants, no other flag should be flown higher or to the right of the United States flag. In the same sense, if the flag is displayed along with State flags, localities, or pennants of societies, it should be in the center/at the highest point if flown on individual staffs, or at the top if on the same halyard.

Flying the U.S flag midst flags of other countries, the flags should each have their own staff, the flags should be the same size, and the flags should all be flown at the same height.

It time of tragedy, mourning, or recognition, the flag may be flown at half-staff. When hoisting the flag, it should sit at its peak position for a moment before being lowered to half-staff. The same process should be followed when lowering the flag. In the instance where a flag is used to cover a casket, it should be placed so the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. However, the flag should never be lowered into the grave or touch the ground at any time.

Wealth Management Weekly Update October 28, 2013

iStock_000023291187XSmall

U.S. and World News

  • A court in Milan has banned former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from holding public office for two years following his conviction for tax fraud in August. The country’s Senate has to approve of the decision but this just adds to the political instability in Italy over the last few months.
  • Shares in China have been under pressure this week as the People’s Bank of China has again refrained from stepping in and providing liquidity for a market that they feel might be overheating. Short term rates in the country have shot up as a result. Experts are divided over whether the bank’s strategy is seasonal or it signals a long term attempt to keep inflation under control and tame the growth in credit.

 

Markets

  • Stock markets set new record highs again this week as the S&P 500 Index increased by 0.88%, closing at 1,760. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.11% to close at 15,570. The S&P and the Dow respectively are up 23.39% and 18.82% year to date.
  • Treasury yields continued to fall this week with the 5 year and 10 year treasury yielding 1.29% and 2.51% respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil continued to fall this week, dropping by 3.17%, closing at $97.91 per barrel. Year to date, oil is still up 4.68%.
  • The spot price of Gold continued to rally this week, rising by 2.67% this week and closing at $1351.43/ounce. Gold is now down 19.33% this year.

 

Economic Data

  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims remained elevated this week, coming in at 350,000 vs. expectations of 340,000. The Labor Department again attributed the high claims number to issues with California’s processing issues and the government shutdown. As a result, not much can be taken from the report.
  • The Labor Department retroactively released the September payrolls number this week and it was weaker than expected, causing many economists to question when the Fed will begin its tapering process in light of sub-par jobs growth. There were 148,000 jobs added in the month of September which was lower than consensus estimates of 180,000. The unemployment rate did tick down to 7.2% but this was mostly due to rounding and another small drop in the labor force participation rate which remains at very low historical levels.
  • Third quarter earnings season is well underway with 198 of 500 S&P index member having reported. So far the majority of companies (69%) have beat earnings expectations but that percentage drops down to 50% when looking at top line sales vs. expectations. Consumer discretionary, health care and technology stocks have performed the best on an earnings basis with consumer staples and financials being the most disappointing.
  • Existing home sales declined by less than expected in September, falling by 1.9% vs. consensus expectations of a 3.3% drop. This decline follows several months of weaker pending home sales numbers, potentially reflecting the impact of higher mortgage rates since the spring.

 

Fact of the Week

  • With 1 in 9 U.S. bridges structurally deficient and 42% of major urban highways congested, many companies, including those hauling fully loaded trucks are being forced to take detours to avoid unsafe bridges or congested highways. The American Society of Civil Engineers forecasts that the poor infrastructure could cost companies an extra $430 billion in operating expenses by 2020 and result in over $1.7 trillion in lost sales opportunities.

 Please contact a member of the Wealth Management Department if you have any questions about this information.

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

How to properly care for an American Flag

As we near the occasion of The Healing Field, sponsored by Old Second on Nov. 3-13, 2013, here is a reminder on the proper care for a flag.

The United States flag should always be treated with great care and respect. In order to properly preserve, display, and discard a United States Flag, it is imperative to know proper Flag Code.

Times and Occasions for DisplaySunrisetosunset400

The United States flag should be displayed on buildings or on a stationary flagstaff in the open. It is customary to display the flag from sunrise to sunset and to raise the flag with energy and lower it ceremoniously. If it is a patriotic time, the flag may be flown for 24 hour with proper illumination during the dark hours.

It’s important to note that if the weather seems unfavorable, one should only display an all-weathered flag. Holidays, president’s birthdays, Memorial Day, and Labor Day are especially important days to fly the flag. On Memorial Day, it should be at half-staff until noon.

Time to Act Quickly to Sponsor Your Flag

Act now by sponsoring an American flag on the Healing Field in Aurora in honor of a family member who is a veteran or is currently serving.  Time is running out.  The Healing Field will begin on November 3rd.

It’s almost time for the Healing Field to rise; 2,013 American Flags will be
erected to honor our Veterans and active duty servicemen and women on
November 3rd through November 13th. You can sponsor a
flag and even add a personalized tag honoring a family member or friend by
visiting any Old Second Bank Branch or visiting the Old Second Bank website.
You may also register and sponsor online.

Once the Healing Field is concluded you may pick up your flag or have it
shipped to you (small shipping fee)

Wealth Management Weekly Update October 21, 2013

Open sign pinned onto a painted wooden doorU.S. and World News

  • After 16 days, the partial shutdown of the U.S. Government ended on Thursday with a short term agreement being reached. Congress approved a deal to finance the U.S. government until January 15th and raised the debt ceiling on the government borrowing. This new debt ceiling deadline is somewhere between February 7th and mid-March depending on how the Treasury chooses to use any of the special provisions at their disposal. This sets us up for what will hopefully be a less painful repeat of this process in three months. As you’d probably expect of our esteemed congressmen, there were quite a few pork barrel provisions in the legislation, including $2.2 billion going to Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky to complete an over-budget dam project.
  • The online insurance exchanges recently opened as a provision of Obamacare continue to experience significant technology issues that are creating problems for people trying to enroll. Insurers say that the marketplaces are providing them with incorrect information such as duplicate enrollments, spouses being reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations. These problems are hurting the ability of insurers to process even the small numbers of people who have thus far attempted to sign up.

 

Markets

  • Stock markets surged to new record highs this week following the deal in Washington D.C. as the S&P 500 Index increased by 2.06%, closing at 1,744. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.70% to close at 15,513. The S&P and the Dow respectively are up 22.32% and 17.52% year to date.
  • Treasury yields fell this week with the 5 year and 10 year treasury yielding 1.34% and 2.59% respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell this week by 1.11%, closing at $100.72 per barrel. Year to date, oil is up 7.75 %.
  • The spot price of Gold rallied this week, rising by 5.26% this week and closing at $1316.30/ounce. Gold is now down 20.17% this year.

 

Economic Data

  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims remained elevated this week, coming in at 358,000 vs. expectations of 335,000. The Labor Department again attributed the high claims number to issues with California’s processing issues and the government shutdown. As a result, not much can be taken from the report.
  • China saw its GDP growth accelerate to 7.8% in the 3rd quarter vs. 7.5% in the 2nd. This level of growth will help ease fears of a ‘hard landing’ for economic growth in the country as the country looks invest in infrastructure without seeing growth stall.
  • With the government reopened, it was announced that the September nonfarm payroll report will be released next Tuesday (10/22), and the October employment report will be released November 8th as planned.

 

Fact of the Week

  • It was five years ago this week (10/16/08) that Warren Buffet wrote his “Buy America, I Am” op-ed in the New York Times. Buffet encouraged investors to “be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” Since Buffet wrote the letter, the S&P has gained 104.6% on a total return basis.

 

Please contact a member of the Wealth Management Department if you have any questions about this information.

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Wealth Management Weekly Update October 14, 2013

Moon rising in Washington DC

U.S. and World News

  • The U.S. government remains partially shut down as Republicans and Democrats can’t get on the same page to pass legislation that would fund the government. The funding issue is now being rolled into the reaching of the debt ceiling which is set to take place on October 17th. So far, only short term ‘solutions’ are being discussed with House Speaker John Boehner offering a temporary debt ceiling extension if President Obama agrees to negotiate a reopening of the government. This would potentially buy time for wider budget talks to be had but is being viewed as yet another ‘kick the can down the road’ type of measure. 
  • One piece of uncertainty was cleared up this week as President Obama announced he will nominate Janet Yellen as the first woman Chair of the Federal Reserve who will take over for Ben Bernanke when his term runs up in January. Yellen, who is known as a bit of a dove when it comes to monetary policy (accommodative), will have to be confirmed by the Senate, although that is not expected to be a major hurdle.
  • Minutes from the Fed’s most recent meeting show that most FOMC members still see a tapering of asset purchases beginning this year. The decision to not begin the process in September being a “close call”. Members were aware that the September decision would be a surprise to the market but the majority felt that it was prudent to hold steady after the latest jobs data had been disappointing.

 

Markets

  • Stock markets rose unassumingly this week amid turmoil in Washington D.C. as the S&P 500 Index increased by .75%, closing at 1,703. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.09% to close at 15,237. The S&P and the Dow respectively are up 19.42% and 16.28% year to date.
  • Treasury yields climbed higher this week with the 5 year and 10 year treasury yielding 1.42% and 2.69% respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell this week by 1.91%, closing at $101.86 per barrel. Year to date, oil is up 8.96%.
  • The spot price of Gold dropped by 3.09% this week and closing at $1250.57/ounce. Gold is now down 24.16% this year.

 

Economic Data

  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims rose sharply this week, the most since Hurricane Sandy, climbing by 66,000 and coming in at 374,000 vs. expectations of 311,000. The Labor Department attributed the majority of the increase to issues with California’s processing issues and the government shutdown. As a result, not much can be taken from the report.
  • While the headline unemployment figure has been slowly improving, job churn remains well below pre-crisis levels. In July, 2.3 million people quit their jobs vs. almost 3 million in 2007. Job churn is seen as lubricant for the economy, because it usually means workers are improving their income and/or moving away from poor companies to better ones. It also opens up positions for the unemployed but with the jobless rate still elevated, employees are staying put.

 

Fact of the Week

  • The current partial government shutdown is the 12th such shutdown since 1980. Of the previous 11, the first 9 all lasted 3 days or less. The 10th shutdown (starting in November 1995) lasted 5 days and the 11th (starting in December 1995) lasted 21 days. The current shutdown is going on 11 days as of Friday.

 

Please contact a member of the Wealth Management Department if you have any questions about this information.

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Sponsor a Flag for Your Veteran or Service Member

HONOR A VETERAN OR ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE MEMBER AT THE HEALING FIELD AT WEST AURORA HIGH SCHOOL, AN EVENT SPONSORED BY OLD SECOND BANK. YOU’RE INVITED TO SPONSOR ONE OF 2,013 AMERICAN FLAGS AND PERSONALIZING IT WITH YOUR OWN TAG. THE FLAG IS YOURS TO KEEP AFTER THE 10 DAY HEALING FIELD EVENT IS CONCLUDED AT DUSK ON VETERAN’S DAY.

The Healing Field came into being after the tragic events of 9/11/2001. The
need for healing and the reminder of the true cost of freedom has been
celebrated around the country through Healing Field Events ever since that
very sad and difficult day. The ceremony is designed to honor living and
deceased Veterans and the brave men and women who are on active service in
the military. Aurora is proud to host The Healing Field during the week of
Veteran’s Day, the most coveted time of the year for this honor.

Starting on November 3rd until November 13th, 2013 American Flags
will be on display on the Plum St. side of West Aurora High School, waving
in the breeze symbolizing the great sacrifice of America’s sons and
daughters, past and present, and their loving families. Prior to November
3rd, you can sponsor a flag and memorialize your flag with a special tag for
your loved one who has served or currently serves our country. Afterward you
may pick up your flag or have it shipped to you (small shipping fee).

It’s easy and affordable to sponsor a flag at The Healing Field. Simply,
visit any Old Second Bank branch or go to our website. Old
Second Bank is the Presenting Sponsor of The Healing Field with West Aurora
School District 129 and the A+ Foundation of West Aurora High School. You
can complete your sponsorship on line for both a flag and personalized tag
at a secure website by clicking here.

Please consider sponsoring a flag and tag for an anonymous family to
remember their veteran or active duty member of the service.

Wealth Management Weekly Update October 7, 2013

iStock_000016726121XSmallU.S. and World News

  • The U.S. government is partially shut down for the first time in 17 years after the House and Senate failed to come to an agreement on a budget to fund the federal government. Equity markets did not react as negatively as many had expected and actually rose on the first day of the shutdown. The expectation was that the shutdown will have a relatively short life, but with no evidence of compromise at the moment, that timetable is in doubt. Both sides appear to be digging in with some Republicans demanding that Obamacare be repealed and President Obama’s statement that there will be no negotiations about Republican demands during the shutdown.
  • There’s also the matter of the October 17th debt ceiling deadline which is fast approaching with the Treasury taking its final extraordinary measures this week to enable the U.S. to avoid breaching its borrowing limit until that date. House Speaker John Boehner has reportedly told Republicans that he won’t allow the U.S. to default, and if necessary, will use GOP and Democratic votes to increase the debt ceiling. He is also looking to negotiate a combined deal for passing a budget (and ending the shutdown) and raising the debt ceiling. One compromise proposal that is making the rounds is for Congress to pass a budget in return for a repeal of the medical-device tax but no delay for the implementation of Obamacare. Stay tuned.
  • The first government run insurance exchanges opened up for business on Tuesday and unsurprisingly ran into several problems. Technical glitches, site crashes due to high traffic in addition to the Spanish-language website not being set up yet have marred the first few days of this important aspect of Obamacare,. It remains to be seen how effectively these exchanges will be as a marketplace for health insurance.
  • China has officially opened the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which the government sees as a major step in liberalizing the country’s economy and enacting other reforms. The Free Trade Zone will be used as a place to test economic reforms, such as the convertibility of the Yuan currency.

 

Markets

  • Stock markets fell modestly this week amid turmoil in Washington D.C. as the S&P 500 Index dropped by 0.07%, closing at 1,690. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.22% to close at 15,073. The S&P and the Dow respectively are up 18.53% and 15.02% year to date.
  • Treasury yields remained relatively unchanged this week on the back of the Fed’s decision to delay tapering of asset purchases with the 5 year and 10 year treasury yielding 1.41% and 2.65% respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose this week by 0.75%, closing at $103.64 per barrel. Year to date, oil is up 10.87%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell this week, dropping by 1.95% and closing at $1,310.87/ounce. Gold is now down 21.76% this year.

 

Economic Data

  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims came in low again this week, rising by 3,000 and coming in at 308,000 vs. expectations of 315,000. This week, the Labor Department noted that there were no special factors affecting claims following the distortions in the last couple of weeks so this is being viewed as a positive report.
  • Monthly jobless data and unemployment rates for September have not been published as the Labor Department is not issuing a Nonfarm Payrolls report due to the government shutdown. They have yet to set a new release date.

 

Fact of the Week

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. is on track to pass Russia as the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas by the end of the year. The amount of crude from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford shale in Texas continues to rise rapidly, while Russian output is expected to remain flat through 2016.

 

Please contact a member of the Wealth Management Department if you have any questions about this information.

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management